March 2006 News

Project to protect wildlife in Northern Areas launched

6 March 2006
The Dawn

Gilgit: The government is spending Rs30 million on conservation of endangered species and a project has been launched to protect the rare wildlife from extinction, officials said. “A comprehensive project has been started by the Wildlife Department in order to conserve the most precious wild species in Northern Areas and the required funds have been released by the government,” Divisional Wildlife Officer Mohammad Ayub told APP here on Monday. He said that government was paying much importance to protect the rare species from being extinct and added that an adequate amount was also being spent to equip the department and employing people to overcome shortage of manpower. He said the wildlife department was specially focusing on conservation of Markhore, Urial and Muskdeer and it had inducted community wildlife guard at village level to monitor illegal hunting of aforesaid species. Mr Ayub said that by conserving these species they would encourage trophy hunting in line with reserved quota of the government. He said the department had procured vehicles and other equipment necessary for community wildlife guards so that they could contribute effectively towards the targets. He said a number of measures had also been taken by the department to create awareness among the masses about the importance of wildlife in society. “We are concentrating on community participation...we are involving them in the conservation they are the best protectors,” Mr Ayub said. He appreciated the active participation of communities and added that the department was thankful for the cooperation the communities had extended so far. He lauded that communities in Ghizer, Hunza, Astor and Baltistan were much cooperative and they had played an important Role in the conservation of wild species. He was of the view that the Northern Areas were best sanctuaries for rare species and the government would conserve this asset by all means. He said severe action would be taken against illegal hunters.


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